THE Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), through former Cong. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Manuel M. Lazaro, President and Chairman/CEO, respectively, lauded the judicious decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the National Pantheon, better known as Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB), in the specific area assigned exclusively to ALL Presidents of the Philippines in accordance with and pursuant to RA 289.
Sec. 2 of the law mandates the Board of National Pantheon shall determine the suitable site for the construction of the Pantheon and “to set aside a portion thereof wherein shall be interred the remains of all Presidents of the Philippines and another portion wherein the remains of heroes, patriots and other great men of the country shall likewise be interred.”
Lazaro stated RA 289 expressly vested in the executive department the duty and function of ensuring that the mortal remains of all Presidents of the Philippines, without any distinction or qualification of whatever nature or character as the person or as the President, are interred in the burial place specifically assigned only to all former Presidents of the Philippines.
Lazaro further remarked that when Pres. Duterte directed the burial of former Pres. Marcos in the LNMB, he was merely executing his solemn oath as President to “faithfully and conscientiously fulfill his duties as President of the Philippines to preserve and defend the Constitution, execute [enforce] its laws and do justice to every man.” Pres. Marcos must be buried as the former President of the Philippines, an undisputed fact, and not as otherwise perceived by detractors.
Philconsa President Romualdez stressed that the only eligibility required to be buried in the specific place assigned to former Presidents of the Philippines is he was a President. Hence, the protests, rallies and oppositions against the burial are devoid of factual and legal basis. The protesters irreverently and irrelevantly claim Marcos was not a hero or a patriot. Pres. Marcos’ remains are being interred as the former President of the Philippines.
Romualdez further said that there is a specific burial place separate and distinct for heroes and patriots and other persons qualified to be buried. Romualdez concluded it is ironic that the avid protesters or haters of Pres. Marcos opposed his interment and none opposed, what has been publicized and reported, the interment of the dog of former Pres. Corazon Aquino named “Shadow” in the LNMB. The dog is neither a President, nor a hero or patriot. Shadow was an animal, not even a human being.
Philconsa salutes Pres. Duterte’s audacious decision to enforce RA 289, wittingly or unwittingly neglected, unfortunately, by the past Presidents in violation of their oath of office to execute and enforce all laws. Pres. Duterte’s decision gives closure to a long and hanging issue.